Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    July 26, 2011 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT

2:30 pm
us to create certain protections for the city and county of san francisco before we go down the process of approving this landfill agreement. one of the things the lafco study showed is we are really the only jurisdiction that does not have a franchise agreement. there are legal limitations as to why, but i think we need to continue discussions that i know began, so we get to a point that, through a franchise agreement or similar contract or document, we can provide additional protections to ratepayers. i also think it is important for us to provide a further delineation of responsibilities and obligations that recology has to the city and county of san francisco. i would hope we would have that
2:31 pm
in place before we went down the road of approving this agreement, which is the only reason why i will be voting against it. i do hope, though, that those discussions continue. i think it is in everyone's interest, and most portent -- most importantly in the interest of ratepayers to have those formalized. i think there will be a proper forum for those issues to be discussed. i certainly look forward to being a part of that discussion. the other thing that i would say about this deal is that it also includes a facilitation agreement, which was not subjected to a competitive bid process. coupled with the land fill agreement, the extension of the facilitation agreement would essentially create vertical integration. there may be different views on the positives or negatives of
2:32 pm
that, but i simply believe that before we go down that road that we should have some of the contractual protections i have discussed in place. that is the reason for my vote today. but again, i want to thank recology, the department of the environment, and the lafco staff for all they have done and their good faith efforts. supervisor avalos: thank you. much like supervisor campos, i want to echo my thanks to the department of the environment and lafco and the mayor's office, and recology as well. i will be voting also against the land fill agreement and the facilitation agreement, the amended version between d.o.e.
2:33 pm
and recology. much for the same reasons, i believe our process for selecting this land fill agreement has not been as thorough as it needed to be. we also need to look overall at what our system for garbage is in san francisco. i do not think it reflects where many jurisdictions are in the bay area, and most likely in the country, in how we create our garbage functions and garbage utilities functions. i think we need to be going to a new direction for that at some point. we are reliant on, i would say, an outdated process that was established back in 1932, which i think in practice provides a way of doing things for our garbage functions but not the best way to do it. are there other ways we can
2:34 pm
reconfigure how we select and build our garbage functions that can protect ratepayers? i know there is a lot of discussion for the next year, possibly going to the ballot, of a process to competitively bid our garbage functions in this city. that is looming heavily over what we are doing here today. i am not quite sure if it makes a lot of sense to move forward, knowing there could be major changes happening in the future. i actually had the occasion to visit the garbage -- the land fill site in yuba county late last year. i went there with melanie nutter, director of the department of the environment, and a supervisor eric mar. it was an enlightening trip. we met with folks from recology
2:35 pm
and at the landfill site, and we met with residents and elected officials. there were some concerns about environmental issues related to adjacent farms and what the impact of the set would be on an adjacent farms. but the thing i took away most from that trip was that the host fees that govern how much it costs to deposit a ton of refuse at the landfill were much lower in yuba county than the rest of california. there were $4.40 at yuba county, but much higher in other places. i think it is over $16 at the current land fill site in livermore. there was some tension from elected officials in the yuba county to possibly raise those fees. how those increases would affect local ratepayers -- i felt that was a risk, a potential risk
2:36 pm
that it would increase the cost locally, and whether the bid that could be approved today was the right bid that would later in flight what the costs were to the city and to the ratepayers. -- inflate what the costs were to the city and the ratepayers. because of that i was skeptical of this contract, knowing the great work the environmental -- the department of the environment did to put this together. but i felt my vote on this measure has really weighed on what is right for the process of the city and the true cost to ratepayers. i will be voting against this agreement. thank you. supervisor chu: thank you to my colleagues. i do appreciate the discourse we have had over this topic. we have had a number of meetings at the committee level about this contract. although i appreciate the comments.
2:37 pm
we appreciate the comments, i disagree and will support this contract, which is a strong one. overall, the department materials show this is a contract that would save our ratepayers over $100 million over the term of the contract in terms of the landfill component. much has been said about the environmental benefits, so i won't go into that. in terms of where we were in a competitive bid process, one reason i feel comfortable with this contract is we did have an extensive contrast in order to get to today. the department went forward with an rfp many years ago, worked to do outreach to every landfill in the state of california to encourage them to bid. we did receive a small number of responsive victors -- bidders on this process. that process took many years. knowing our current capacity at
2:38 pm
the alta month site, i think it would be bad for the -- altamont site, i think it would be bad for the city to hold off on this, whether it is a natural disaster or something else that comes down the pipeline. i think this is a positive contract, one that was competitively and fairly bid, one that will show ratepayers $100 million worth of savings. finally, with regards to the issue of fees, i know much has been said about whether certain counties and jurisdictions can increase fees. regardless of where we would be, whether it is altamont or you but county, those local jurisdictions have that capability, so we do not have certainty either way. we do know at our current site we have fees that are far higher than the current yuba county amount. should that increase, that would drag down the deferment to, but in either case we would still be
2:39 pm
under the same pressure of local jurisdiction in terms of these. i do believe this is a strong contract and hope you will also support it. supervisor weiner: thank you. we often bragged in san francisco about our 77% diversion rate and how we are the envy of the country, and we really are. we have done a tremendous job as a city in terms of encouraging waste reduction. there are a number of reasons for that success. one of them is recology. throughout this process, i do not recall hearing any actual criticism of recology's service. even folks who are not supporting this today i have heard make positive comments about the service recology
2:40 pm
provides, a system tailored to the needs of san francisco. if this were a situation where we had a shoddy provider, that would be a different scenario. but i think everybody agrees to provide excellent service. i have heard an argument that we should somehow delayed this because there is the possibility of a ballot measure next june to repeal the 1932 ordinance. the 1932 ordinance has been around for a long time. this whole process, culminating in today, has been around for a long time. if people want to repeal the 1932 ordinance, they had a long time to put something on the ballot and try to get it repealed. i know there have been efforts in the past that have failed. i do not see a reason just because this late in the game some once again -- someone
2:41 pm
collected signatures to put this in the ballot, but we should stop the process when we know we are going to run out -- that we should stop the process when we know we are going to run out of landfill space. i will be supporting this item. supervisor kim: i also sat on the budget committee, and this is an issue that has been brought forward several times. although many questions came up around barging, things i support in the long term, i think questions or answers to this process. we have a good contract in front of us and recology has been a good partner for san francisco in the goals we have tried to achieve. i have question separate from this issue. other supervisors have brought this up. i question whether 1932 is good policy and should be in our charter, and what we can do to increase franchise fees here in
2:42 pm
san francisco. something which came out of the lafco report is seeing what other counties are doing. even with the free services recology provides, i hope we can continue that discussion without raising rates for ratepayers. if we are able to give back more to the county, as we do in other counties, i think that is a conversation that can continue. however, i do not see that conversation as being attached to this contract, which i will support today. but i do hope to continue conversation on the franchise fee in san francisco. i think that is where the conversation about the 1932 ordinance. i was committed to not raising that issue as we consider -- continue the discussion to july, but i look forward to continuing the discussion for next year. president chiu: any further
2:43 pm
discussion? supervisor avalos: i do think the 1932 ordinance is pertinent. under the rubric of our garbage services, they are all going to be related. if we are approving a landfill contract while there is a question about overall garbage collection and transfer, sorting, and disposal, that is going to be pertinent. i want to make sure -- we have no franchise agreement that governs the monopoly that currently has control of our garbage. i think that is worth looking at. i did not ask anyone to delay the vote, but i am voting against it for that reason. i just wanted to state that clearly. supervisor campos: i do not want to belabor the points that have been made. but for me one of the key concerns, is respected of the
2:44 pm
issues of the 1932 ordinance -- irrespective of the issues of the 1932 ordinance, is the fact that you are talking about a land fill contract of $112 million. but then you also have the facilitation agreement, which is for $300 million to $400 million. that agreement was not competitively bid. i think that is too large an amount of money for us to do a sole-source contract. that is for me what tipped the balance. -- balance. i just wanted to say that for the record. that is not anything against this company, simply about the process. thank you. president chiu: colleagues, further discussion? why don't we take a roll-call vote? supervisor chu: aye. supervisor cohen: aye.
2:45 pm
supervisor elsbernd: aye. supervisor farrell: aye. supervisor kim: aye. supervisor mar: aye. supervisor mirkarimi: aye. supervisor weiner: aye. supervisor avalos: no. supervisor campos: no. president chiu: aye. >> there are nine ayes and two nos. president chiu: this resolution is adopted. item 22. >> resolution approving the united school district expenditure plan for the public education in richmond found. -- in richmond fund. -- enrichment fund. supervisor cohen: aye. supervisor chu: aye. supervisor elsbernd: aye. supervisor farrell: aye. supervisor kim: aye. supervisor mirkarimi: aye.
2:46 pm
supervisor mar: aye. supervisor weiner: aye. supervisor avalos: aye. supervisor campos: aye. president chiu: aye. >> there are 11 ayes. president chiu: this resolution is adopted. items 23 and 24 are related to continental airlines. >> item 23 approves execution of modification number 6 of the 1981 airline airport lease to provide a retroactive rent credit for terminal round of exclusive use space but it did in terminal one. 24 authorizes the execution of modification one with continental airlines to modify the desired premises by elimination of exclusive use space in terminal one. president chiu: same house and call? these resolutions are adopted. >> item 25, authorizing the
2:47 pm
general manager of the public utilities commission to execute sewer system improvement for an amount not to exceed $150 million with a term of up to 15 years. president chiu: same house and call? this resolution is adopted. >> item 26, approving the issuance and sale of tax-exempt bonds in the aggregate principal amount not to exceed $11 million to finance various capital facilities owned or leased by children's day school. president chiu: same house, called? this resolution is adopted. >> item 27 is from the budget and finance subcommittee without recommendation, approve an amendment one to the agreement for advertising on municipal transportation agency property between the city and tighten outdoor. -- titan of door.
2:48 pm
president chiu: -- titan outdoor. president chiu: this is an issue that has been discussed on various boards about advertising on buses. i asked mta to cap how many buses we are talking about. i do not think it is ideal long- term for us to proceed in this way, but we know have a million dollars for our munis system at this time is something we need. i would like to ask ms. bowes, who helped prepare this amendment, to speak on it. rather than having a percentage cap on 5% of all mta buses and 10% of light rail buses, that could be kept to a number of transit vehicles of 15. i would like to allow ms. bowes to provide any additional information. >> thank you. the amendment before you has
2:49 pm
about 35 on the buses and 16 on the lrv's. given today's market conditions, i do not think the market exceeds -- they do not demand right now to do more than 15. so we are comfortable with the 15. we will report back at the end of the year to assess whether demand is greater than 15. but starting at 15 is ok with the mta. we believe we can get the 500,000 with the 15. president chiu: if there are no objections, i would like to make the amendments circulated in the draft amendment. supervisor farrell: second. supervisor chu: aye. supervisor cohen: aye. supervisor elsbernd: no. supervisor farrell: aye. supervisor kim: aye. supervisor mar: aye.
2:50 pm
supervisor mirkarimi: aye. supervisor weiner: aye. supervisor avalos: no. supervisor campos: no. supervisor chu: aye. >> there are eight ayes and thre nos. supervisor kim: i just had a quick question for ms. bowes, an issue that came up. the question was about visibility from the windows if there is wraparound advertising. this is a question i asked the budget committee that came up through some of our constituents. >> that has been a repetitive question from the public and public safety officials concerned about looking out. while it is not exactly the same as a non-wrapped window, staff have confirmed it does not stop the visual impact of looking in
2:51 pm
and out. however is not as clear as an unwrapped window. we will assess this over the year and if the review indicates we are having significant problems about this, we will come back to you with that information. but it does raise concerns about that. supervisor kim: thank you. supervisor campos: through the chair, if i may, to the mta -- thank you, ms. bowes for your hard work on this. i do have a concern about the experience of the rider. we want to encourage more people to ride public transit. we have seen a decline in some segments of the population, 2000 or 3000 fewer youths riding the
2:52 pm
mta. i am worried about the impact this will have on ridership because of the experience. it is not going to be the same as a bus that does not have this kind of wrapping. can you say a little bit more about what that looks like? related to that, has there been an effort to get direct feedback from riders on what they think of this idea? >> let me take the questions first. certainly, it has impact on ridership, but it is a trade- off. it could be we do not have the bus if we do not have this money. if it is the question of providing service cuts or fare reductions versus having erupt window, i think almost anyone would prefer the wrapped window. that is a question the board has struggled with. well $500,000 might not seem
2:53 pm
like a lot, it seems -- for us it means five mechanics and parts and vehicle availability. ideally, we would not be doing this, but unfortunately that is not the case. that is the way we have been assessing alternate revenue sources. while they may not be ideal, if it means keeping service going and keeping fares down, that is what we would like. on your second question, i think it was related to -- supervisor campos: feedback from riders. >> we had a pilot where we wrapped fall vehicles -- full vehicles. we got very few negative comments. most of the comments were that if it means keeping service and reducing fares, most of the public would rather see the wrapping. i have written these buses
2:54 pm
myself, and there is an impact, but if this keeps my lines in service, i would rather have the wrap. only 16 would be wrapped at any time. frankly, i do not think there will be 15 even with the cap, because of the market and the cost is so high for these wraps. that is the feedback we got is that there would rather see the wraps and have the service. supervisor campos: i appreciate the feedback. not to minimize the amount of money -- $500 thousand is $500 thousand, but in the scheme of things, relative to the size of the mta budget, i hope we would take some time to see if there are other options in terms of
2:55 pm
finding additional money. i do worry about the impact on the experience of riders. i do know there are many people in parts of the city who have no choice. we want more people to ride muni. i do not think it is a good thing for us to create that kind of experience for them. i do worry that in the end it might be counterproductive to our efforts to increase ridership. >> this amendment requires an annual review process. the mta board did this reluctantly as well. after the first year of this, there will be an opportunity for both you and the board to discontinue this after the first year, if the feedback from the public is significant, if we find alternate sources of money. then we will not have to do this in the second and third year. that texas strategy is available
2:56 pm
in the contract. -- exit strategy is available in the contract. supervisor campos: i appreciate that. thank you. supervisor elsbernd: i came in here thinking this contract will generate -- was going to generate $500,000 before the amendment was made. this is reducing coverage but still produces $500,000? >> $500,000 was a conservative effort. with the 15, we will have to work harder to get to the $500,000. i cannot guarantee we will get the 500 dozen dollars. we will work as hard as we can to try to achieve that amount. $500,000 was our estimate. it was not an estimate from titan. supervisor elsbernd: thank you. i was sitting at the president's
2:57 pm
dais, so i did not get a chance to explain my no vote on the amendment. i voted that way because i am concerned we will not hit our 500 dozen dollars. for me, i am -- $500,000. for me, it is the quality of the ride. as a writer -- rider, i am more willing to put up with an obstructed window than to have to walk several blocks because the service has been cut. do i want to pay $3 for that ride instead of $2? i will take the obstructed view. supervisor mirkarimi: to ms. bowes, please. i will stand, since you are down there. to the point of supervisors elsbernd and campos, i remember
2:58 pm
when we were piloting this i would be on the bus and ask people next to me what their experience was like when the buses were wrapped. i did not get positive reviews. one described as looking out as a feeling of for to go. they were not feeling it was a pleasant ride -- o. f -- feeling of vertigo. they were not feeling it was a pleasant ride. but there were not many people on the bus. in one respect, in the interior of the bus there is unpleasantness. on the exterior, i hear arguments from people who think it adds to urban blight. >> when we did the pilot, the material that was used back then has been approved -- improved. the visual ability to look inside and outside of the material we are testing is much better.
2:59 pm
we expect to see a little more acceptance by the public. i have ridden those busses. the material has changed and is more porous because all of the transit systems that use them are concerned about the same thing. advertisers have made the material much better for looking in and out of buses. we have been testing to see if it makes a difference. if we hear a lot of negative feedback, we will come back during the budget cycle, and the mta board will decide not to continue this program. supervisor mirkarimi: since we are struggling with severe deficits of about $680 million, $500 -- $500,000 is an important strategy to defray the hit. but when not something more robust in a strategy to try to add revenue or alleviate the deficit?